Marathon Training Update and Time Goals

Here’s the truth. I’m so freaking ready to stop running. The downside to the three day a week training plan is that each run is pretty long. Even the short runs are 8 – 12 miles. Mentally gearing up for 12 miles is almost the same (for me) as gearing up for 20. And after a pretty solid six months of this training, I’m just a teensy bit over it. I mean, post-run stretching is great bonding time for Hippo and I, but I think we can find a way to make it work.


In fact, last week I boycotted one of my runs and went to Zumba instead. Although I have zero rhythm or style, I find jumping around like a gangly maniac preferable to any sort of run at this point.

But the good news is that we have one more 20-miler to do this week, and then we get into taper mode. I didn’t actually get to taper for the last marathon (my  pneumonia took care of that for me), so I’m actually excited to do it correctly this time. And I’m already thinking about my post-marathon workout plan. After having a training plan for so long, no plan can feel a little aimless. I know I’m going to bring yoga back with a vengeance. I’d really like to start swimming, if I can get up the courage to actually make it to the pool. I’ve never lane-shared and I don’t know how to flip turn so yeah, I need to find a nice swim buddy to accompany me at least once.

Any runners out there if you’re reading and have tips for a successful marathon taper, I’d love to hear them. I’ve read that people actually get nervous about cutting in the weeks leading up to the race because they feel unprepared, but I don’t know who those people are. I, for one, can’t wait to stop hitting the pavement as much. This is why I do a marathon every other year.

So I’m going to be bold and share my various time goals for the marathon here. But I’m going to preface it by saying that my ultimate goal is to finish without feeling like my lungs are going to explode, without walking, and with a smile (even if it resembles a grimace) on my face. The last marathon didn’t end well. I would like this one to end marginally better, and I would like to cross the finish line with Alex if we can make that happen. But in the event that I’m more motivated out there, here are my time goals.

This Runner’s World article suggests setting three goals, “fantastic,” “really good” and “I can live with that.” I like the idea of three goals, but I don’t like the terminology. I can actually live with having a 10 hour marathon, if that were to happen. I mean, the van would pick me up before that, but still, you get the point. Reaching my time goal is not a life or death situation for me. So I’m going to change it up.

  • “You just won a million dollars” – 4 hours, 30 minutes
  • “You just won a hundred dollars” – 4 hours, 40 minutes
  • “You just won ten dollars” – 4 hours, 50 minutes

Because finishing a marathon in ANY amount of time is like winning money. Marathons are hard and everyone should celebrate finishing one, no matter what the clock says. Don’t let anyone ever tell you differently!


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